Monday, August 5, 2013

Blessi and the Bushwhacker(s)

Some of the boarders at Blessi's stable got together for a trail clearing party through the forrest.  We decided to see if Blessi would let a rider trim low lying tree limbs as a sort of portable ladder.  Dallas hopped into Blessi's Western saddle and she trimmed as I led Blessi along the path.  Blessi thought this was great fun since he got to trim bushes himself (in other words eat) as we stopped and moved and stopped and moved at a very slow rate. Finally, we reached the end of the trail and I started leading Blessi back to the stable so I could return and trim lower lying brush.

On the way back, we passed another neighboring farm.  We could see the barn and hear the horses calling from their pastures.  The path is rather up and down and only about 2 feet wide with dense underbrush and trees on either side. All of a sudden Blessi, who has been such a gentlement starts insisting that he needs to do turn around in a complete 180 degrees. 

Dallas, Stefanie, and Jennifer (left to right)
our saviors
Confused, I started trying to discourage that movement when out of the corner of my eye I see, what seemed to be at the time a huge, loose horse (but I later learned was only about 16 hands and a mare named Velvet) calling and galloping right towards us.  Blessi completed the turn on his own an stood with his feet planted but his head up and nostrils flaring slightly.  The only thing I could think to do was to take the end of the lead line and flick it at the horse to discourage her from possibly slamming into us and provoking Blessi into running off.  I am also trying to calculate how I could throw the lead line over Blessi's neck, if necessary, so he could fend for himself and jump myself out of the way into the underbrush.

"Help, help, loose horse," I shouted as Velvet scrambled into a sliding stop about  12 feet away.  I kept flicking the rope as Dallas, Stephanie, and Jennifer walked calmly up.  Jennifer used her jacket to put around Velvet's neck and the ladies started leading Velvet back to her home stable.  But Velvet wasn't ready to end the adventure.  Part way back to the barn she escaped and bushwhacked us again--cantering at us at full speed.  One again, I flicked the lead line to keep her at a safe distance as the the terrific trio saved Blessi and me.  Jennifer used a more secure temporary rope and this time Velvet went home.  During this entire time, Blessi did not move an inch or even pull on the lead line.

Blessi and I turned around and within minutes his head was down and he was totally relaxed.  Right as we got back to the stable we encountered the stable owner driving a small tractor down the trail clearing some of the bigger brush.  Blessi was not at all concerned and we just walked by on the tight trail. 

Believe me, Blessi got lots of carrots and hand grazing time in thanks for his sensibility.  You gotta love Icelandics.

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